Larry D. Smith, Partner


Areas of Practice:
Civil Litigation
Commercial Litigation
Deceptive Trade Practices
Complex Litigation
Personal Injury - Defense
Products Liability - Defense
Insurance Defense Law

Litigation Percentage:
100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions:
Florida, 1984
Alabama, 1985
U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida
U.S. District Court Northern District of Florida
U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida
U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit
U.S. Supreme Court

The University of Alabama School of Law, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 1984 J.D.
Honors: Member, National Trial Advocacy Team
Honors: Vice-Justice, Phi Alpha Delta Legal Society - 1983

University of North Alabama, Florence, AL, 1979
B.S., With Great Honor
Honors: Presidential Award, Highest Grade Point Average in the Department
Honors: Member, Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society
Major: Criminal Justice



Larry Smith is a founding partner of Southern Trial Counsel | PLC. Larry received his B.S. With Great Honor from the University of North Alabama in 1979, majoring in Criminal Justice and receiving the Presidential Award for highest grade point average in the department. He was a member of Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society. After working in the National Park Service and then as a federal law enforcement officer, he entered the University of Alabama School of Law, graduating in May, 1984. In addition to distinguishing himself academically, Mr. Smith was a member of the National Trial Advocacy Team and interned with United States District Judge Robert Proust of the Northern District of Alabama.

For more than 30 years, Larry’s practice has focused on the defense of complex, high exposure cases for clients such as automotive, medical device and drug manufacturers, primary/excess insurance companies and the commercial litigation needs of banks and businesses.

Larry is served on The Florida Bar Rules of Civil Procedure and served two terms on the Code & Rules of Evidence Committee. Since 1999, he has served on the Florida Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism where he served successive terms as Chair of its Diversity Subcommittee.

Larry has served as a lecturer at state and national seminars, including those sponsored by the American Bar Association, the Defense Research Institute, the Regulatory Affairs Professional Society, the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, and the Society of Automotive Engineers about product liability, civil litigation, and professionalism related issues. He has achieved Martin dale-Hubbell’s highest rating of “AV”, has been included in its Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers since 1999, and selected for inclusion in the publication of Florida Super Lawyers since 2008.


Representative Clients:
Available upon request

Honors and Awards:

The 2016 Florida Bar G. Kirk Haas Humanitarian Award

The 2016 Florida Bar Young Lawyers Diversity Award

The 2015 Defense Research Institute Sheryl J. Willert Pioneer Diversity Award.

The Florida Bar 2013 Henry Latimer Diversity Award, presented by the Equal Opportunities in Law Section, Virgil Hawkins National Bar Association Florida Chapter and Florida Association of Women Lawyers for commitment to professionalism and diversity.

The 2013 ABA Section of Litigation's Diversity Leadership Award for "promoting full and equal participation in the legal profession".

Florida Super Lawyer, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, Selected for inclusion in publication

Orlando’s Best Lawyers- 2010, 2011, 2012

Florida Trend Magazine's Legal Elite, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014

Orlando Style Magazine's Legal Elite, 2015

Achieved Martindale-Hubbell's highest rating of AV - Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell's Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers

Watermark's Central Florida Co-Person of the Year, 2002

Humanity Through Horror: Looking Back At PulseThe Briefs, June, 2017

Michael Daugherty, Larry D. Smith, Natialie Bolling, The LGBT Legal Community: Times Change, Challenges Remain, For the Defense, Defense Research Institute, August, 2015

Michael Drahos, Mark Greene, Jeffrey James, Larry Smith, Danger Ahead:  The Changing Face of Failure to Warn Claims, Florida Defense Lawyers Association Trial Advocate Quarterly, Winter, 2014

Be Nice, Save Money: The Economic Benefits of Practicing With Professionalism,, July 2, 2014

Larry D. Smith, Robert V. Goldsmith, III, Bridge Over Troubled Waters: Service During Disaster as a Form of Professionalism, American Bar Association Section of Litigation Ethics and Professionalism Committee, June 2011,

Larry D. Smith, Numbers Tell a Story: Recent Litigation in LGBT Issues, American Bar Association Section of Litigation LGBT Litigator Committee, January 2011,

Larry D. Smith, Batson Challenge Does Not Extend to Unidentified Minorities, American Bar Association Section of Litigation Ethics and Professionalism Committee, February 2010,

Larry D. Smith, Reflections on the 30th Anniversary of In re Eimers, American Bar Association Section of Litigation Ethics and Professionalism Committee, February 2010,

Classes/Seminars Taught:
The 45th Trial Academy of the International Association of Defense Counsel, Stanford Law School, Summer, 2017

The Right to Love, Looking at Loving v. Virginia and Obergefell v. Hodges, George C. Young Central Florida Inn of Court, May 16, 2017  

Professionalism, Diversity & Inclusion, Ninth Circuit Traffic Officers, Orange County Courthouse, May 12, 2017

Diversity in Law Firms, Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Diversity Symposium, Orange County Bar Association, May 12, 2017

Pulse:  An Inside Look And Lessons Learned, International Association of Defense Counsel, Annual Meeting, Scottsdale, Arizona, February 20, 2017

Presentation of the G. Kirk Haas Humanitarian Scholarship and remarks on Diversity and Unity, The University of Florida School of Law, November 17, 2016

Emails: The Cockroaches of Litigation, Central Florida Public Risk Managers Association (PRIMA), September 16, 2016

Death by a Thousand Cuts: Confronting Hidden Bias and Ethical Considerations in the Legal Community, DRI Diversity Conference, Chicago, June 2015

Product Liability – Differences in the Restatement 2nd and Restatement 3rd of Torts as Relates to Product Liability Claims and Various Nuances of Failure to Warn Claims, Larry D. Smith and Kenneth Waterway, Florida Defense Lawyers Association/Florida Liability Claims Conference Annual Meeting, June 2015.

A Year After Windsor:  Panel Discussion, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Middle District of Florida, June 2014.

Guardians of the Legal Profession: Benefits of Serving as a Community Leader, The Florida Bar Leadership Academy, Orlando, Florida, March, 2014.

Professionalism and Diversity: The Outlook for the Invisible Minority, Diversity Institute Summit, Chicago, 2012

National Diversity Forum: Building Strength Through Diversity, Claims and Litigation Management Alliance, New York City, 2011

Trial Management in 2011: Using Technology to Increase Effectiveness, Council on Litigation Management, New Orleans, 2011

Team Building and Leadership Skills, Central Florida Paralegal Association, Orlando, December, 2010

Building Bridges Between the Bench, Bar and the Community, The Florida Bar Voluntary Bar Leaders Conference, July, 2010

Outlook for the Invisible Minority, Litigation Council of America Diversity Summit, Atlanta, 2009

Litigating High Profile Cases During Governmental Agency Investigation: A Multi-Prong Approach, Litigation Council of America, Charleston, 2009

Case Law Update, CEU Institute for National Insurance & Healthcare Continuing Education, 2009

Diversity: Creating The Winning Edge, The Florida Bar Annual Convention, 2008

Does Biomechanics Pass the Daubert (and Frye) Requirements?, American Bar Association Emerging Issues in Motor Vehicle Product Liability Litigation Conference, 2008

Professionalism and Diversity: The Outlook for the Invisible Minority, Litigation Counsel of America, Fall Conference, 2007

Professionalism, The Florida Bar Solo and Small Firm Section, 2007

Strategic Use Of Summary Judgment: Cutting The Catastrophic Case Down To Size, Litigation Counsel of America, Spring Conference, 2007

Pathways to Diversity Conference, Minority Corporate Counsel Association, 2006

Professionalism, The Florida Bar, Solo & Small Firm Convention, 2006

Voluntary Bar Leadership Conference, The Florida Bar, 2006

Second Annual Diversity Symposium, The Florida Bar, 2005

The Cutting Edge: Case Law Update, Defense Research Institute, 2003

Proof of Defect Without Testimony: Can a Plaintiff Survive Summary Judgment? American Bar Association, 2002

How Similar Is Substantially Similar? A Defense Perspective, American Bar Association, 2002

Masters in Professionalism Series: Diversity, The Florida Bar, 2001

Successful Lawyering in a Diverse Society: Diversity: It's Good Business, The Florida Bar Annual Meeting, 2000

The Hot Seat: Seat Back Claims Issues and Trends, American Bar Association Emerging Issue in Automotive Product Litigation Conference, 2000

Product Liability Concepts, SAE Conference, 1999

Pro Bono Activities:
Wills for Victims of Aids, 1999 - Present
Guardian ad litem for Abused and Neglected Children

Professional Associations and Memberships:
Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel, Admissions Committee, Product Liability Committees

Transportation Lawyers Association

The Florida Bar Leadership Academy Committee, Inaugural Member, 2013; Member, 2013-2018

Member, Diversity Law Institute (Advisory Board 2012-2013)

International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC)
Member; Diversity Committee; Co-Vice Chair, Diverse Member Involvement; Faculty, 45th Trial Academy, Stanford Law School, 2017; Chair, Southeast Regional Committee (Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee), 2017-2020

National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms, 2016 - (first in nation admitted based on recognition of LGBT as a minority); Product Liability Practice Action Committee; Restaurant, Retail & Hospitality Practice Action Committee, Commercial Litigation Practice Action Committee

Defense Research Institute (DRI)
Member, Drug & Medical Device Committee; Diversity Committee, Vice-Chair 2015 Diversity Expo

American Bar Association

American Bar Association; Past Chair Diversity Subcommittee,
Section of Litigation, Ethics and Professionalism Committee

The American Bar Foundation

Litigation Counsel of America (Trial Lawyer Honorary Society)

The Florida Bar, Rules of Civil Procedure, 2012-2014

The Florida Bar, Code & Rules of Evidence Committee, 2008-2012

The Florida Bar, Special Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, 2010-2013

The Florida Supreme Court Commission On Professionalism
Member, 1999 - present; Chair, Diversity Subcommittee, 2003 - 2006

The Florida Bar, Equal Opportunities in the Profession Committee, 1998 - 2000

The Florida Bar, Equal Opportunities Law Section, 2000-Integration into Standing Committee on Diversity and Inclusion
Chair 2010, Charter Member, Board of Directors At Large 2008

Florida Defense Lawyers Association
Board of Directors, 2016-2017; Vice Chair Product Liability Committee, 2015-2017; Member, Diversity Committee

The George C. Young First Central Florida American Inns of Court
Master Level

Orange County Bar Association
Member, Chair, Diversity and Inclusion Committee 2014-2017

Leadership Orlando

The Florida Bar Annual Symposium on Diversity
Planning Committee Member, Second, Third, and Fourth Years

The Florida Bar Fourth Annual Symposium on Diversity

The Florida Bar Fifth Annual Symposium on Diversity

Central Florida Gay And Lesbian Law Association - A Voluntary Association of The Florida Bar;
Board of Directors; President 2009

Faculty and Steering Committee, The Florida Bar Solo & Small Firm Convention, 2006 - 2007

Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (No longer member)
Past Chair, Diversity & Inclusion Committee, 2013; Vice-Chair, Florida, 2009-2010; Co-Chair, National Diversity Forum, 2012; Co-Chair, Leadership Forum, 2012; Product Liability Committee (International Product Liability Issues and Consumer Goods Subcommittees)

Steering Committee, The Florida Bar Equal Opportunities Law Section, 30th Anniversary "In Re Eimers" Symposium, 2008